Upshur County, Texas
Cities, Towns and Communities
Bettie | Big Sandy | Calloway | Coffeyville | Earpville | East Mountain | Gilmer | La Fayette | Hopewell | Omega | Ore City | Pine Tree | Point Pleasant | Pritchett | Red Rock | Rhonesboro | Simpsonville | Union Grove
Upshur County History 1940. The earliest settlers of record were John Cotton, who came in 1835, and Isaac Moody, who settled on the Cherokee Trace in 1836. In 1838 O. T. Boulware started a trading post on Cotton's land, the first store in the present limits of Upshur County.
When created from Nacogdoches and Harrison Counties in 1846, Upshur County had Big Cypress for its northern and the Sabine River for its southern boundary, including all of the present Camp and a part of Gregg Counties. It was organized July 13, 1846, and about eighteen months later the assessor's report gave it a population of 1,156, with 165 voters. In the census of 1850 there were 3,394 people, of whom 682 were slaves. The county filled up rapidly during the next decade, and 1860 found Upshur County with a population of 10,645, more than a third slaves. It continued to gain during the war decade, at a slower rate, and the population was 12,039 in 1870. The large slave element provided the labor for rapid development, and by 1860 sixty-five thousand acres were classified as "improved land." This was more than six times the acreage so classified in 1850. The rapid and widespread settlement prior to 1856 is indicated by the postoffices in operation at that time. Besides Gilmer, county seat by legislative fiat, there were Calloway, Coffeeville, Earpville, Hopewell, Omega, Pine Tree, Point Pleasant and Red Rock. In the dismemberment of the county during the 'seventies Omega fell to Gregg and Pine Tree to Camp (now called Pine). Most of the other early postoffices are no longer on the map.
The first county seat, named for Thomas W. Gilmer (secretary of the navy under President Tyler), was on a different site from the present town. Gilmer had a female college in the 'fifties, headed by Rev. David W. Stovall, and later by Mrs. Martha Weathered. The building burned in 1863, but a new building was provided in 1866, and the school moved in again. Continue Reading Upshur County History 1940 >>